Staunton Harold S.C. Open – June 9th 2012

“First outing for the “Comeback Kid”

The recent Storms sweeping across Britain abated a little to allow for some exciting racing at new Moth venue Staunton Harold.  A gusty Force 4+ and excellent high speed courses with some punishing beats resulted in quite a few capsizes and the odd gear failure here and there.

The very recent very bad weather kept numbers down but the meeting saw 13 boats of which 12 entered.  The Open Meeting heralded the return of ex British Moth multi-National Champion Toby Cooper making a very welcome comeback.

Sailing  “When”[754] – the sister to his previous trusty steed “Wein” [752] – having been extensively loved through the winter and looking resplendent, all that was missing was a new sail to set on the Claridge carbon stick. With a loaned sail Toby was back in business and going really well – was that smoke or spray !

This meeting also saw the first race outing for Roger Witts’s new  Selden carbon rigged Claridge [885] “Pieindasky”.

As it turned out the meeting was dominated by the RW’s ….Rob Wilder “X-Moth” 881 and Roger Witts in 885. Witts de-bugging as the meeting progressed ventured out using a “Slim” sail by R&J in the first two races before switching to a North ODL Sail for Race 3.

Race 1 saw Cooper,Wilder.Graham Pope “Gromit” [828] ,Mark Wiltshire [872] and Witts contest the lead up the first beat.  Wilder lead at the windward buoy from Witts who was showing good upwind speed and close behind the “Comeback Kid” himself Toby Cooper. Witts held off Cooper and a fast gaining Pope on the first of the reaches but both flew by on the longer third reach.

At the start of the 2nd lap Wilder had built up a small lead but Witts broke through and gained on Wilder only to be left on the reaches again and allowing Cooper,Pope and Wiltshire to pass again. Again Witts passed and gained on Wilder who proceeded to cover.

Finally Witts was able to hold onto 2nd place on the downhill legs and fast planing reaches and extended a lead over Pope and Cooper, Wiltshire fell back after a capsize.

Meanwhile Wilder was really in the groove with the new Dynamic Sail working well and extended his lead.  Mid fleet saw a battle developing between Colin Hall [856],Ian Haywood [871].Tony Latham [880] and Gary Tompkins [862]. All things changed when Hall broke his Hoop allowing Haywood to secure 6th and Latham 7th.

Race 2 and the RW.s were at it again……

The race followed a similar pattern with Witts gaining ground upwind and then losing out with the smaller sail on the fast reaches.

The chasing pack of Cooper, Pope, Hall [now rigged with a bridle] and Wiltshire hunted Witts down relentlessly but this time Witts put a gap in sooner as most fell over behind him at the gybe mark.

Cooper, no doubt refreshed from a quick bracing swim, was flying on the reaches and made an impression on Witts’s second position but fell back on the final beat again to take 3rd place.

Hall was 4th and Pope 5th. Wiltshire had another swim after a spectacular reverse pike and twist[apparently]on a fast reach and ended up in 6th place with consistent Latham 7th. Wilder held onto a comfortable and well deserved second bullet.

After a long Lunch break the conditions for Race 3 were supposed to ease and the wind to drop.  Almost predicatably the wind strength increased at the start [how does it always manage to do that !].

A longer course being set for the final race saw the usual culprits away cleanly at the start. Witts was away with the Fairies somewhere and did not get away so well.  Now with full size sail he was 6th at the windward mark managing this time to pick off a few down the reaches

Consistent fast starting Wilder was leading again but Witts closed quickly upwind on the second lap and there ensued a race long tussle.  Wilder electing to cover or watch the 2nd place boat constantly.  Missing out on a significant windshift as the breeze lessened Witts fell back a little on the last lap leaving Wilder to take his third win.

Cooper slowing in the lighter breeze was covering Pope and Haywood but hung for 3rd place.  Swimmer of the Day Wiltshire again sampled the waters but recovered well to take 6th place ahead of Latham in… you’ve guessed it 7th place !

A superb inaugural Open Meeting for the British Moths at Sataunton Harold will hopefully see a return to the Club next season.

Thanks go to all at the Club for their and considerations… Thanks to the Ladies who”fed and watered” us and the Race and Rescue Crews. Special Thanks to Andy Foskett and Richard Pepperdine.

Next up —- it’s a return to Stewartby S.C on 23rd June.